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The Dog of the Marriage: The Collected Short Stories Paperback – 6 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847247326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847247322
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

These are astonishing stories, hilarious and surprising and insightful... if there's a funnier, smarter or richer book published this year, I will eat my shoes - Guardian.

Her work is an exemplar of the truth that the short story can be the briefest of affairs, but it can stay in the mind forever - Glasgow Herald.

Reaffirms her impressive mastery of fiction … Hempel's wit, insight and crisp writing make her work consistently powerful' Observer.

The toughest party of reading The Dog of the Marriage is how much your jaw muscles ache from the effort it takes not to laugh and cry in front of strangers. Amy Hempel is my god among writers' Chuck Palahniuk.

From the Back Cover

Hempel's compact fictions, populated by smart, neurotic, somewhat damaged narrators, speak grandly to the longings and insecurities in all of us. With her trademark compassion and wit, she takes readers into marriages, minor disasters and moments of revelation in a voice that is bracingly direct and sneakily profound.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Loveday on 11 April 2010
Format: Paperback
It's a long time since I read a book of prose which contained as many wise and funny moments as Amy Hempel's collected short stories. It's written in sharp sentences which subvert cliches, and which move between the desperate and the miraculous. The opening lines of her first story provide a good example of her style: "My heart - I thought it stopped. So I got in my car and headed for God." (immediate, earnest, psychological drama, with a twist of language that is still completely right). The moments in her stories balance the commonplace and everyday with the intimate and private. Her narrators can describe self-destructive urges, and yet offer a celebration of daily existence. As if they have been in a car crash and survived (which in fact is a literal part of one or two stories), and are telling their story while wondering about the next drive - a compelling mix of despaire and determination. Her narrators can be deliberately unreliable, but we stay on their side - if they're lying about the facts, we know they're lying, and really it's a lie that contains or reveals or acknowledges emotional truth. There's playfulness, immediacy, and there are pop-culture references that make the stories pleasurable and easy to read. And yet there's complexity - whether from characters digressing into jokes or anecdotes which still connect at a tangent with the main narrative; or from a narrator jumping between descriptions, and the reader joining the psychological dots. The past, memory, the imagination and interpretation are important to Amy Hempel: "I don't know why looking back should show us more than looking at", and also the question of wisdom gained through difficult experiences: "how [do] we know that what happened to us isn't good?".Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rated on 30 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly missold in some reviews - not particularly funny, nor trying to be. Unusually structured stories where every detail counts. Language is wonderfully nuanced. Rewarding reading, and great to see the flag flown for the art of the short story.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Merrilyn Boorman on 3 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure I have received this, will check to see if it has arrived and contact if I haven't found it.
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